I'm feeling inspired today to write about a few people who inspire me. I have many amazing friends - in fact, if you are my friend consider yourself to be a uniquely incredible person, because you surely are! But today I want to talk about three people in particular that I admire and hope to emulate in certain ways. Each possesses a quality that I feel that I lack that completely amazes me.
First up will be Monica. Monica is an only child, and had, what I consider, a pretty radical upbringing. She was raised on an ostrich ranch (um hello, how cool is that?) and her parents later opened their own drive-through coffee company (anyone in the Sonora area should go by Day-O Espresso & Smoothies because it's delish!). Now, I think if my parents owned a coffee company, I'd be even more addicted than I already am, so perhaps it's for the best they didn't. :) But back to Monica...she's awesome. I think the only-child scenario really helped her become someone who is not afraid to put herself out there and can take care of herself. She just tried out for the show Wipe-Out, and she's applying to work on a riverboat doing mystery dinner theater! Both of those sound awesome to me...and even though I think I could do those things, I rarely put myself out there in such a way.
Monica is younger than I am, but in many ways far more mature. She can parallel park (a skill I lost when I moved away from Long Beach) and just seems to be able to handle things well on her own, without much help. I blame my position of being the youngest for my apparent inability to help myself. I do think I can help myself when absolutely necessary (my proudest moment was when I fixed the credit card machine at Gilead all on my own without asking for help from our tech guy), but if I can get someone to figure something out for me, I'll usually take that route. It is not a trait I admire in myself, and I would definitely love to be more like Monica in taking initiative and taking care of things. I'd probably even be surprised by what I can do without help! Her confidence in herself and her abilities is really inspiring to me, and I think she's awesome. :)
Next up will be Marci. Marci and I have known each other since kindergarten, though we really became close in seventh grade in Mr. Greene's class. Marci is another confident woman who goes after what she wants (and often gets it). I admire a ton of things about Marc, but the one in particular today is her ability to communicate her desires. If someone asks me what I want, I usually say, "whatever," because I want to be agreeable and easy-going. Marci specifically says her preference, and does it in a way that sounds neither rude nor demanding. I find that amazing!
I asked her once how she does it, and she said that she won't always get her way, but if she doesn't get her way because she didn't communicate it, that's silly. She said it doesn't hurt to just say what she wants. If she gets it, great! If not, that's okay, because at least she communicated it. I find myself keeping my mouth shut about what I'd really like and what I need, and then pout when I don't get my way because whoever I'm with didn't read my mind. (Anyone care to find out more about this, ask my poor, patient husband.) I don't know where I got the idea that being upfront and honest about things is pushy or demanding, but Marci proves that this notion is incorrect. She does it all with gentleness and grace.
Last, but certainly not least, is JulieAnn. I had the pleasure of meeting JulieAnn in high school and will always force her to be my friend. She's the kind of person you want to be around because you leave her feeling better about yourself and life in general. She is the eternal optimist, always encouraging, and always honest. She asked me recently what she should say is her passion on an essay, and I immediately replied, "Life! Your passion is life and helping the people you love get the most out of life!" It's true. She lives life to the fullest. She is constantly wanting to learn new things. She has been an exercise instructor (just for fun) and has talked about all the classes she wants to take and the things she wants to learn (from cake decorating to the stock market).
Just as an example, I was gchatting with JulieAnn whilst writing this, and was telling her that it's hard for me to figure out a major when there are so many different things I want to do. (English, accounting, nutrition, etc.) And her response was that the sky is the limit and I don't need to worry about doing only one thing because I have forty more years to work and accomplish all the things I want to do. She truly believes you can do everything you want to do, so long as you put in the time and effort (which she does). She is not limited by time, resources, or circumstances. She makes life work for her, and never admits defeat or gives up.
Now, can we all see a pattern in what traits I'm particularly jealous of today? Perhaps Kimberly is going through a bit of a struggle in going after what she wants and putting herself out there...I do see all the wonderful things in life and all that I can accomplish. And I just wish I didn't give up so easily when circumstances aren't just right. I'm far more capable than I give myself credit for (I think) and would probably greatly benefit from pushing myself just a bit more. Sort of reminds me of one of my favorite verses: "Those who wait for perfect weather will never plant seeds. Those who look at every cloud will never harvest crops." Time to start just doing.
So, I think I've decided to start writing about one friend a week - because I have lots of amazing friends with wonderful traits! Stay tuned to hear about more people I'm blessed to know...